Initial work almost finished on Stanford remote facility 

Where firewall and network storage devices were oncethe name of the game, Stanford is now making way for the second phase of construction on its new outpatient medical center, bringing the hospital’s first satellite facility closer to its opening day.

The hospital is wrapping up its first phase of construction, which involves retrofitting the interiors of four buildings that previously housed the headquarters for Excite@Home. The retrofitting will be tailored to suit the needs of several specialty clinics that will treat patients for sleep disorders, spinal problems and orthopedic issues, among other ailments, according to Joanni Banks, spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center.

Interior work should be finished by the end of the summer, but Stanford is waiting for additional permits to do some exterior retrofits and put in new landscaping at the 11-acre campus located at 450 Broadway, according to Fred Shehabi of the Redwood City Building Department. The clinic will see its first patients in late 2008, Banks said.

Stanford’s expansion north comes at a time when the Palo Alto Medical Foundation is lobbying heavily to open a hospital and medical center in San Carlos.

"The marketplace is mounting in competition," Banks said. "We want to leverage the Stanford brand and create a strong, more visible presence off the main campus."

When plans for the clinic were introduced in 2005, Stanford faced opposition from Service Employees International Union Local 715 leaders representing Stanford’s nurses union, who worked to drum up criticism from the Friendly Acres neighborhood. Nurses and neighbors criticized the impact the project could have on the neighborhood, raising concerns about traffic, while another neighbor founded a group called Citizens Against Big Box Medical Business.

However, parts of Local 715 have since been absorbed into the United Healthcare Workers union, and opposition to the Stanford clinic has disappeared, according to UHW spokesman Mason Stockstill.

Friendly Acres neighborhood leaders did not return calls for comment.

The Stanford clinic won approval from Redwood City’s Planning Commission in October 2006 and renovations got under way in early 2007.

Once the clinic is complete, its offices will take some of the strain off Stanford Medical Center, which is also undergoing major renovations. Under that project, the hospital will be rebuilt and modernized in accordance with state-mandated seismic safety laws. The Lucile Packard Children’s Center will be expanded in the process.

By the numbers

Stanford’s new outpatient clinic is under construction and will open in late 2008:

» Building capacity: 360,000 square feet

» Initial medical staff: 400

» Specializations: orthopedics, sleep medicine, pain management, ambulatory surgery, hand center, spine center

» Medical offices: 100

» Examination rooms: 96

» Treatment rooms: 39

» Operating rooms: 8

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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